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The village cafe, p.1
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       The Village Cafe, p.1

           Eraine Rivera
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The Village Cafe

  Copyright © 2013 by Eraine Rivera


  Living in New York City you see your share of strange things, a guy with a bird on his shoulder, a snake charmer, a one man band or even a homeless person singing the praises of God every time someone gives them a quarter. Yep there are a lot of strange folks living here. But hey that’s pretty much the norm living in the city. What I didn’t expect to see was an underground world filled with creatures fighting a war that raged since the dawn of time. I was just a waitress at a café in the village a week ago but that all changed when Rick walked back into my life two days before Halloween.

  “Devilynn, always a pleasure to see you,” Rick said as he glided into my apartment and sat on my sofa. I could not take my eyes off of him as I sat down. Rick turned towards me, his dark blonde mane casting shadows over his face. He smiled as his eyes pierced into mine, making me shiver. Rick and I used to date before he went to Europe to study Art History for two years. He was a handsome guy when he left but when I opened that door and saw what he had become I didn't know whether to laugh or alert the authorities.

  “So what did you come here for Rick?” I asked looking at his unusually pale skin.

  “I am reopening my father’s café for a new type of clientele and I want you to work as one of my waitresses.” His blue eyes pierced into mine as his bony hand reached out to touch me. Rick's skin was ice cold and made me jump off the sofa.

  “I don’t think so Rick. Being a waitress doesn’t pay enough to keep me in this apartment and in school. Your dad was real nice to me and that’s why I stayed as long as I did but I’m getting another job. Thanks for stopping by though.” I said calmly walking over to the door.

  “I will pay you two hundred dollars for each story you document on my clientele.” I stopped at the door and turned to Rick confused. Smiling Rick pulled out a black composition notebook and tossed it onto the sofa. It was my notebook filled with stories I wrote during my break or when business was slow. I thought I had lost it. “You are a writer and a good one at that. I have some interesting friends that would love to have their stories published under an alias.”

  “For a lousy two hundred, sorry find yourself another hack.” I turned away from his creepy gaze again to open the door.

  “I said I would pay you two hundred for each story you write. I did not yet discuss with you the details of your contract once these stories are published.”

  “So what kind of contract are you offering me?” I asked as I turned around and walked back to the sofa. Rick smiled.

  “Well, you will receive thirty percent of all the royalties but the stories remain with Mortakie’s publishing agency and cannot be reproduced.” This all felt so wrong to me but I needed the money to finish school. I had worked too hard and long to just let it all slip away. So what if Rick seemed just a tad bit eccentric. Bottom line was I needed the money not to mention I had a soft spot for Rick even if he cheated on me before leaving to Europe.

  “Sounds fair to me.”

  “Wonderful. Come with me.” I followed Rick out of my village studio apartment and walked two blocks toward the café. The night air chilled me but not as much as the renovation of the café itself. It was transformed from bright and trendy to dark and satanic. Heavy red velvet drapes covered the windows and the huge mirror behind the counter. Small glass tables with wire stools replaced the big comfy couches and chairs. On each table was a large black candle and ashtrays galore of bones, bats, coffins and virgins being sacrificed. Shivering I turned to Rick, who was watching me with a hunger in his eyes.

  “So what are these um…clients like? Are they the disgruntled youth that hang around St. Marks? Vampire wannabees? Satanic cults?” I said trying to play it cool. Rick let out a low raspy chuckle.

  “No. They are all real. You should not be fooled by appearances. I assure you those vampire ‘wannabees’ are quite real and pose themselves that way to walk amongst the living. Why do you think you only see them after dark? But do not take my word for it, see for yourself on Saturday.” Rick said as he walked into his office. I followed him in. The office was the only thing that was untouched. Rick walked behind the desk and opened the top left draw. Pulling out a black book he threw it on the desk.

  “I trust you will read this and become acquainted with it before Halloween because that is when we open.” I grabbed the book and looked at the title.

  “Wolves, Witches and Vampires? It’s a little early for April Fools Day, don’t ya think?” Rick just stared at me blankly. I smiled and walked out of his office.

  Halloween had arrived and I spent the day going over some details that were in the book Rick gave me. Despite its childish title the book was quite interesting. There was a knock at my door. Looking through the peephole I could see two girls dressed like they were going to an exotic funeral. Both were blond and busty with tight black corsets and long velvet skirts. Their faces were as pale as ghosts; thick eyeliner engulfed their eyes and crimson stained their lips. Opening the door I raised an eyebrow.

  “Aren’t you girls a little too old to be trick or treating?” The double mint twins laughed.

  “Rick said you were funny.” The blond on the left said in a high-pitched voice. “I am Rosella and this is my twin sister Miranda. Rick sent us to take you shopping for work clothes.” Rosella said holding out her hand.

  The three of us walked into a gothic boutique on 8th Street and St. Marks Place. Rosella and Miranda floated through the store pulling out corsets in several different colors and skirts of all types of material. Rosella handed me a dark red corset and black velvet skirt and motioned me into the changing room. When I finished dressing I looked in the mirror and laughed. Rosella opened the curtain and stepped in. She pulled make-up out of her velvet purse and went to work on my face as Miranda squeezed in with her and started working on my long curly red hair. They were finished in minutes and turned me around. They put their heads next to mine and I became the triplet of the duo.

  “Absolutely gorgeous.” Rosella gushed as she walked out of the changing room. Miranda handed me a pair of knee length leather boots. I put them on and almost toppled over from the 7-inch platform heels.

  “These can’t be comfortable to waitress in?”

  “No but they look sexy on you, Devilynn.” Miranda said. I regretted taking the job as I stepped out of the changing room. Miranda grabbed the bags and walked out of the store. Rosella came up behind me and placed a black velvet cloak around me.

  “There, that should keep you warm during the winter. Oh, don’t worry about the cost of the clothes. Rick has that covered and Miranda has you belongings in another bag.” I shrugged as we left the store and headed for the café, which was completely decked out for Halloween with banners and black balloons. There were inflatable witches, ghosts and pumpkins hanging from the ceiling and fake cobwebs covered the counter and tables.

  “You look enchanting my dear.” Rick whispered in my ear as he removed my cloak. I jumped. Rick was decked out for Halloween himself. He had on a black frock, a white poet’s blouse with lace cuffs and black leggings with black leather riding boots. His hair was pulled back into a low ponytail. He took hold of my hands and pulled me toward the counter.

  “This is where you will work. Sarah and Thomas will handle all the orders at the counter while Rosella and Miranda will take the tables. You are to record everything that happens tonight. It will be a very special night.” Rick handed me a large black notebook and a silver pen, then turned to open the doors.

  The first hour was slow but by nine o’clock people started to enter the café. Rick was right; al
l sorts of monsters entered the café that night. I saw four Draculas, two werewolves, a few Michael Myers and even Little Boo Peep stopped by for a visit. All I could think was that no one was going to read this story. Around eleven a group of people entered the café. They were all dressed like they were going to a ball at Bela Lugosi’s house.

  Rick came out of his office and kissed the gloved hand of a tall man dressed in a tuxedo. The man nodded to Rick as he handed him his cane, cape and top hat. Rick motioned to a corner of the café. The man held out his arm to the woman on his right then turned to his left and held up his other arm. Both women smiled as they each took hold of him. “Who are those people?” I whispered to myself.

  “That was Mortakie with his mother Helena and his love Eraina.” Sarah said
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